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The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

6. ABOUT THE HOMELANDS AND LENGTHS OF THE JOURNEYS OF THE THREE HOLY KINGS.




Today I learnt much about the holy kings, including the names of their countries and cities, but in my helpless and agitated condition I have quite forgotten everything. I will tell what I know. Mensor, the brown-skinned one, was a Chaldean; his city had a name like Acajaja [120] and was surrounded by a river, like an island. Mensor spent all his time in the fields with his herds. Seir, the dark-skinned one, was on Christmas night all ready to start on his journey from home. The name of his country is connected in my memory with the sound Partherme.' [121] Beyond his country, and higher up, was a lake or sea. It was only he and his tribe who were so brown, with red lips; the people round were white. His country was quite small, no bigger than the province of M?nster.

Theokeno, the pale one, came from a country still higher up, called Media, lying between two seas. [122] I have forgotten the name of the city in which he lived; it was an assemblage of tents erected on foundations of stones. Theokeno, the richest of the three, was the one who left most behind him. I believe that he could have taken a more direct way to Bethlehem, and had to make a detour in order to travel in company with the others. I almost think that he had to go by Babylon to join them.

Seir, the dark-skinned one, lived three days' journey from the home of Mensor, the brown one, and Theokeno five days' journey. Each day's journey was reckoned as lasting twelve hours. Mensor and Seir were together in the former's camp when they saw the vision of the star of Jesus' Birth, and started off the next day with their followers.

Theokeno, the pale one, saw the same vision in his home, and hurried after them in great haste, catching up with the other two in the deserted city. I did know the length of their journey to Bethlehem, but have partly forgotten it. What I remember, more or less, is that their journey was about 700 hours and still another figure with six in it. They had about sixty days' journey, each reckoned at twelve hours, but they performed it in thirty-three days owing to the great speed of their beasts and to their often traveling day and night.

The star which led them was really like a round ball with light streaming out of it as from a mouth. It always seemed to me as if this ball, which was as it were swinging on a shaft of light, was guided by the hand of a supernatural being. In the daytime I saw a light brighter than daylight going before them. If one considers the distance they had to travel, the speed of their journey seems astonishing, but the pace of their beasts was so light and even that I see them moving onward with the order, rapidity, and rhythm of a flight of migrating birds. The homes of the three kings were at the three points of a triangle. Mensor, the brown one, and Seir, the dark, lived nearer to each other than Theokeno, the pale one, who was the farthest away of the three. They have, I think, already passed Chaldar where I once saw the enclosed garden in the temple. Theokeno's distant city has only its foundations of stone; above, it is all tents. There is water round it. It seems to me about the size of M?nster.

After the kings had rested here until the evening, the people who had attached themselves to their company helped them to pack their baggage onto their beasts, and then carried home with them everything that was left behind. It was towards evening when they started off. The star was visible and was today reddish in color, like the moon in windy weather. Its long tail of light was pale. They went on foot for a while beside their beasts with uncovered heads, praying. On this part of the way it was impossible to go fast. Later on, when they came to level ground, they mounted their beasts, which moved at a very quick pace. Sometimes they went more slowly, and then they all sang as they journeyed through the night; it was very moving to hear.











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